SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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ON RELATIONS
201
5)   The influence the last conditions exerted on the structure of our institutions, doctrines, and the s.r related to them.
6)   The relation between the 'copying animals in our nervous processes' and semantic blockages., preventing an adult civilization, agreement, sanity, and other desirable human reactions.
This brief list suggests an enormous field for further research, but,
.^-system of evaluations makes a few
even now, the formulation of a
points clearer.
An infant, be it primitive or modern, begins life with s.r of identity and confusion of orders of abstractions, natural to his age, yet false in principle, and structurally false to fact. At present, parents and teachers seldom check or counteract this tendency, mostly not realizing the importance of this semantic factor and its role in the future adjustment of the individual. In the rough, to a baby, his cry 'is' food. Words 'are' magic. This identification is structurally false to facts, but in babyhood it mostly works. To the infant, experience proves that the noises he makes, a cry or a word, have the objective value, - food. The semantic identity of the symbol and the un-speakable object level, - food, - has been established. This infantile attitude or s.r is carried on into grown-up life.
Under very simple conditions of primitive peoples, in spite of many difficulties, this attitude of identification is not always checked by experience, and experimenting is non-existent at this stage. If it is, then such checking of identification is 'explained' by some sort of demonology and 'good' or 'evil' 'spirits',. Delusional, from the modern point of view, s.r are compensated by mythologies, making the two sides of the semantic equation equivalent. This equating tendency is inherent in all human s.r. It expresses the instinctive 'feel' for the similarity of structure as the base of 'knowledge', and it ultimately finds its expression in mathematical equations. In all psycho-logical processes of 'understanding', we must have some standards of evaluation and 'equivalence'. On primitive levels, this is accomplished by literal identification and delusional mythology of the type, that a storm at sea is 'caused' by a violent quarrel between a 'god' and his 'wife'; or, in contemporaneous mythology, a draught, or fire, or death by lightning, is explained as 'punishment' for 'sins',. Semantic compensation is needed and produced. A similar semantic process produces scientific theories, but with different standards of evaluation. At present, scientific theories do not cover all semantic needs and urges of mankind, owing to the prevailing false to fact identification of different orders of abstractions. With the full consciousness of abstracting, which means proper evaluation or differentiation between orders of abstractions, science will then cover all our non-pathological semantic